Sometimes government actions result in making the problem they are trying to fix worse rather than solving it.
For example, we don’t know much yet about the harm of smoking e-cigarettes. But we are relatively sure that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes. Efforts to make e-cigarettes more difficult to purchase therefore hold the risk of increasing the number of people consuming regular cigarettes and thereby increasing the risk of lung cancer.
Risk assessors often describe these as “risk-risk tradeoffs.”